Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Vince Gets Opinionated

As much as I'm proud and willing to show off the various injuries inflicted on me in the past few weeks, I know I'm light years ahead of what some other people have gone through in other parts of the world. By most accounts, the world is not a nice place. By now, the world around is aware of a 27-year old Brazilian living in the UK that was mistaken for a terrorist bomber and shot by British police. This is a shock to most sane people, especially when you consider that the British police force have not relied on firearms between 1936 until being formally re-introduced in 2000. Even more shocking is that they shot the poor bloke seven times in the head.

On one hand, there is the need for public security. Understandably, if a person was indeed a suicide bomber, attempting to incapacitate the bomber by shooting the arms and legs would not have the desired effect, as they can still set off an explosive device. Also, if the suspect had the police themselves, it may place the public at greater risk. In these frightening times, if a person doesn't stop when told to and is wearing a thick jacket in the middle of summer, you can't be too careful, right?

But still, seven times?

The other side sees this as sliding down the slippery slope into a police state. When the police are given a shoot-to-kill directive and can freely execute somebody that they suspect as being a terrorist or suicide bomber. From reports, Jean Charles de Menezes was wearing clothing that put him out of place (thick baggy clothing that could conceal explosives). Since the guy was Brazilian, there is the possibility that he is more used to warmer climate.

By all accounts, anybody could be a terrorist. Small explosive devices would be placed in backpacks, suitcases...why not just have everybody go around naked? I mean, hey, it's summer, isn't it? But then, you could always hide a small explosive device in your rectum, but it probably wouldn't cause enough damage (plus, suicide bombers would likely survive...without an asshole). That, and it might be tough to hide wires, unless the thing was detonated by remote.

I've always been under the impression that if there was a democratic nation at the highest risk of becoming a police state, it would be America. With the PATRIOT act giving the government authorities carte blanche to do whatever the hell they want, definitions of terrorists could extend to just about anybody that steps out of line.

But the UK? I guess it's understadable, in some respects, especially given the nature of the attacks. As a result of 9/11, we've seen some pretty weird security measures in American airlines, such as banning nail clippers and forcing a woman to drink her own breast milk to prove that it wasn't contaminated with weaponized bio-agents. Had a suicide bombing attack occured on US soil, we'd likely see the more like what happened in the UK.

This world is clearly not a nice place anymore. Paranoia has gripped the "free" nations like a vice, where the people are now afraid to go on with their lives and the collective trigger fingers of law enforcement have developed a serious case of hives.

The way I got it figured, the world is going to come to an end whether we want it to or not. When that happens, I want good seats. And a beer. And a shotgun to make sure no one tries to take my beer.

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Saturday, July 23, 2005

Stitches come out on tomorrow. Do chicks really dig scars? Stay tuned.

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Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Three stitches. You should see the other guy. Not a scratch on 'im!

After these past couple of weeks, I have come to the inescapable conclusion. My face is a magnet for rocks, street signs, and other people's feet.

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Thursday, July 14, 2005

Superheroes need not fear the hazard signs!

Ache, Bumbaye!

Groupo Ache Brasil, Vancouver and Calgary academy

Cobra vs. Grandao

Nighttime roda

Mestre Eclison vs. Adam

Mulher-only Roda

Workin' the camera with Ballarina and Morena

King of the mat. I lost.

John C. vs. Superhomem

Barboleta (Bush Girl) vs. Toquinha (Charlie Brown)

'Round the camp fire


outdoor roda

Costume roda (Sushi, Morena, Ballarina)

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Wednesday, July 13, 2005

I got my first real six-string / Bought it at the five-and-dime / Played it till my fingers bled / It was the summer of '69
-Bryan Adams, "The Summer of '69."

right thumb: Literally played guitar until my fingers bled (Sunday night).

left arm: rope burn from game of tug-o-war on Saturday. Our team, "The Hatchets," came second place.

left leg: multiple mosquito bites incurred on Sunday that didn't show up until Monday. Currently treating with Benadryl antihistamine cream. Not pictured: mosquito bites on right leg, right shoulder, back of head (!).

right leg: Saturday afternoon, attempted a backflip off of an inflatable floating platform into the Okanagan, but instead of landing in the water, bounced off the platform and THEN landed in the water. One witness likened it to a pinball. I made a small laceration on my leg, after which I proceeded to bleed on the PVC raft. I had to quickly wash it off because they might be returning it to the point of purchase.

face: Saturday morning, failed to realize how sharp the rocks are at the bottom of the Okanagan. Currently treating with a combination of topical antibiotics and wet bandages.

Not pictured:

left hand: blood blisters from gripping Maculele (Brazilian fighting sticks) too tight
back: sebaceous cyst, popped and drained (one fellow camper got the whole thing on video). Will likely have to go to a doctor to have it completely removed.

Conclusion: I am DEFINITELY going for next year's camping trip. More non-injury related photos of the camping trip to come.

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Friday, July 08, 2005

I'm heading out to the Thompson Okanagan area to go camping. Chances are that the weather is going to completely suck and I would've been better off staying at home, but that's not going to stop me from having fun. Photos to come.

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Tuesday, July 05, 2005

It's what I call the Brazilian equivalent of birthday bumps (see July 5th 2005 entry under archives).

In my Capoeira group, we have a tradition called the Birthday Roda. Roda (Portuguese for circle), which involves people (other Capoeiristas, observers, etc.) gathered in a circle while two players do their moves (kicks, sweeps, flips, etc.). In the Birthday version, you have to go against everybody.

My body frickin' hurts from being taken so many times. I probably spent more time on my ass than on my feet. I can barely type this because I fell on my right wrist and I'm probably going to be walking funny for the next day or two. And I've got a camping trip with my Capoeira group this weekend. More pain.

Speakin o' which, one of the traditions at the Capoeira camping trip is the Costume Roda. I designed a t-shirt as part of my costume (photos to come) and asked my mom to help, given her level of expertise (she makes a lot of her own clothing). After watching me painstakingly cutting out the patterns I wanted to attach to the shirt over the course of two hours, my mom got frustrated and took over. I will never, ever complain about the price of clothing ever again.

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